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Environmental ethics
 

Environmental ethics

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  • Figure 26.3 Comparison of three major environmental worldviews. QUESTION: Which of these environmental worldviews come closest to your beliefs?
  • Figure 26.6 Solutions: guidelines and strategies for achieving more sustainable societies. QUESTIONS: Which three guidelines and which three strategies do you think are the most important? Which of these guidelines and strategies do you follow in your life and lifestyle?

Environmental ethics Environmental ethics Presentation Transcript

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Environmental Science Environmental Worldviews, Ethics, and Sustainability
  • ENVIRONMENTAL WORLDVIEWS AND VALUES
    • Your environmental worldview encompasses:
      • How you think the world works.
      • What you believe your environmental role in the world should be.
      • What you believe is right and wrong environmental behavior.
  • Some questions in environmental ethics Should the present generation conserve resources for future generations? Is is OK to destroy a forest to create jobs for people? Is it OK for some communities to be exposed to more pollution than others? Are humans justified in driving other species to extinction?
  • Three ethical worldviews
  • ENVIRONMENTAL WORLDVIEWS AND VALUES
    • Environmental worldviews lie on a continuum.
    Figure 26-2
  • HUMAN-CENTERED AND LIFE-CENTERED ENVIRONMENTAL WORLDVIEWS
    • The major difference among environmental worldviews is the emphasis they put on the role of humans dealing with environmental problems.
      • Some view that humans are the planet’s most important species and should become managers or stewards of the earth.
  • Planetary Management • We are apart from the rest of nature and can manage nature to meet our increasing needs and wants. • Because of our ingenuity and technology we will not run out of resources. • The potential for economic growth is essentially unlimited. • Our success depends on how well we manage the earth's life support systems mostly for our benefit. Stewardship • We have an ethical responsibility to be caring managers, or stewards, of the earth. • We will probably not run out of resources, but they should not be wasted. • We should encourage environmentally beneficial forms of economic growth & discourage environmentally harmful forms. • Our success depends on how well we manage the earth's life support systems for our benefit and for the rest of nature. Environmental Wisdom • We are a part of and totally dependent on nature and nature exists for all species. • Resources are limited, should not be wasted, and are not all for us. • We should encourage earth sustaining forms of economic growth & discourage earth degrading forms. • Our success depends on learning how nature sustains itself and integrating such lessons from nature into the ways we think and act. Fig. 26-3, p. 617 Environmental Worldviews
  • Other more recent schools of thought
    • Deep ecology = humans are inseparable from nature; protect all living things as one would protect oneself
    • Ecofeminism = male-dominated societies have degraded women and the environment for similar reasons- believes that women should be given the same rights that men have in our joint quest to develop more environmentally sustainable and socially just societies
  • Shifts in Environmental Values and Worldviews: Some Encouraging Trends
    • Global and national polls reveal a shift towards the stewardship, environmental wisdom, and deep ecology worldviews.
  • Environmental justice (EJ)
    • Poor people and minorities suffer more than their share of environmental problems, EJ advocates say.
    • The EJ movement began with a protest against a toxic waste dump in an African-American community in North Carolina.
  • How Would You Vote?
    • Which one of the following comes closest to your environmental worldview: planetary management, stewardship, environmental wisdom, deep ecology, ecofeminist?
      • a. Planetary management
      • b. Stewartship
      • c. Environmental wisdom
      • d. Deep ecology
      • e. Ecofeminist
  • How Would You Vote?
    • Do you believe there are physical and biological limits to human economic growth?
      • a. No. I have faith in human ingenuity and creativity.
      • b. Depends. Some (but not all) aspects of economic growth are limited.
      • c. Yes. Ecological economists are generally correct.
  • LIVING MORE SUSTAINABLY
    • Environmental literate citizens and leaders are needed to build more environmentally sustainable and socially just societies.
    • YOU!
    • In addition to formal learning, we need to learn by experiencing nature directly.
    • GET OUTSIDE!
  • Fig. 26-6, p. 622 Solutions Developing Environmentally Sustainable Societies Guidelines Strategies Learn from & copy nature Sustain biodiversity Eliminate poverty Do not degrade or deplete the earth's natural capital, and live off the natural income it provides Develop eco-economies Build sustainable communities Do not use renewable resources faster than nature can replace them Take no more than we need Do not reduce biodiversity Use sustainable agriculture Depend more on locally available renewable energy from the sun, wind, flowing water, and sustainable biomass Try not to harm life, air, water, soil Emphasize pollution prevention and waste reduction Do not change the world's climate Do not overshoot the earth's carrying capacity Do not waste matter and energy resources Help maintain the earth's capacity for self-repair Recycle, reuse, and compost 60–80% of matter resources Repair past ecological damage Maintain a human population size such that needs are met without threatening life support systems Leave the world in as good a shape as—or better than—we found it Emphasize ecological restoration
  • LIVING MORE SUSTAINABLY
    • We can help make the world a better place by not falling into mental traps that lead to denial and inaction and by keeping our empowering feelings of hope ahead of any immobilizing feeling of despair.
  • Living More Lightly on the Earth: The Sustainable Dozen
    • Agriculture
      • Reduce you meat consumption.
      • Buy locally grown and produced food.
      • Buy more organic food and grow your own.
      • Don’t use pesticides.
    • Transportation
      • Drive an energy-efficient vehicle.
      • Walk, bike, carpool, or take mass transit.
      • Work at home or live near work.
  • Living More Lightly on the Earth
    • Home Energy Use
      • Caulk leaks, add insulation, use energy efficient appliances.
      • Try to use solar, wind, flowing water, biomass for home energy.
    • Water
      • Use water-saving showers and toilets, use drip irrigation, landscape yard with natural plants that do not require excess water.
  • Living More Lightly on the Earth
    • Resource Consumption
      • Reduce your consumption and waste of stuff by at least 10%: Refuse and Reuse .
    Figure 26-5
  • LIVING MORE SUSTAINABLY
    • The Earth Charter calls for us to respect and care for life and biodiversity and to build more sustainable, just, democratic, and peaceful societies for present and future generations.
    • We need hope, a positive vision of the future, and commitment to making the world a better place to live.